CV Tips

Usually the best CV format is a reverse one in reverse chronological order:
• Basic/contact information (name, address, email address, contact phone number).
• Profile section detailing your experience and areas of proficiency.
• Reverse chronological employment history emphasizing recent achievements.
• Education (Recent graduates may put this at the top).

Use plain white paper and black ink. Use a clear font, ideally 10/12 point. Make headings bold and use space to break up the page. It makes the reader feel immediately negative towards you if they are confronted by a full page of small, tightly spaced text.

Although you may like unusual fonts and may be proud of your large clipart collection, many people will not share your views. It is better when writing a CV to aim for a smart, professional look rather than a flash multi-coloured masterpiece.

A one page resume is unlikely to contain enough information for people to decide they want to interview you. Likewise people do not want a slipped disk lifting your CV. Obviously use your judgement, but it is more important to include detail on your most recent positions and avoid great detail on what you did in 1973. Typically between two and four pages will suffice for most people.

Make sure you spell check and proof read your CV before submitting and be especially careful with names etc. that will not be in a spellchecker. Also keep your CV up to date, it is amazing how many people just add their most recent position to their old CV without updating previous positions to the past tense or giving leaving dates.

Use dates to show when you did things and avoid vague references such as “one year”. Include months as well as years for start and end dates for previous positions etc.

Your profile/summary statement should sell your skills and experience and avoid vague meaningless generalisations that could apply to anybody.

Many candidates lose their readers in the beginning. Statements like, “A challenging position enabling me to contribute to organizational goals while offering an opportunity for growth and advancement,” are overused, too general and waste valuable space. If you’re on a career track, replace the objective with a tagline stating what you do or your expertise.

Avoid using personal pronouns such as “me” or “I”.

Cut down on personal information that is not relevant to your career. At this stage nobody needs to know you height, weight, children’s names, marital status etc. don’t go overboard on a hobbies/personal interest section unless they are relevant to your job.